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Environment Policy S-MPA-2

Proposals that enhance a marine protected area’s ability to adapt to climate change and so enhance the resilience of the marine protected area network will be supported. Proposals that may have adverse impacts on an individual marine protected area’s ability to adapt to the effects of climate change and so reduce the resilience of the marine protectedarea network, must demonstrate that they will, in order of preference:

a) avoid
b) minimise
c) mitigate adverse impacts.

Policy Considerations

  1. Proposals that enhance a marine protected area’s ability to adapt to climate change should include information demonstrating how this will be achieved. An example of enhancement could include the removal of hard coastal defence structures in favour of soft engineering which facilitates habitat roll back.
  2. Proposals that offer enhancement must also assess adverse impacts in line with relevant legislation and regulations including Habitats Regulations Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment and other national legislation. Enhancement is not a substitute for avoidance, protection or mitigation measures.
  3. Proposals must provide evidence of how they have considered any potential impacts on a marine protected area's ability to adapt to climate change. Proposals should consider climate change projections from sources including  the Climate Change Risk Assessment, United Kingdom Climate Projections (UKCP09) and Marine Climate Change Impact Partnership reports
  4. If it is not possible to avoid significant adverse impacts, proposals should incorporate (but not be limited to) the following; avoidance of work during seasonal migrations or reduction in the time spent carrying out a construction activity, the use of soft infrastructure to allow boundary changes should they need to occur.
  5. It may be benefical to consult the following organisations for advice on climate change adaptation when developing proposals:
    - Natural England;
    - Joint Nature Conservation Committee.